Fall 2017

Colloquium, Theses in International Politics, B.A.

Seminar, Global Internet Governance

How, where, and by whom are decisions about the policy issues raised by the Internet made? At the intersection of technology and politics, the emergence of the Internet poses crucial questions about control over physical and technological infrastructure, distributive questions about access and use, security and privacy concerns, questions of who makes, controls, owns, and benefits from content and more. This seminar begins to explore and analyze decision-making on these crucial questions for contemporary political science and public policy.

Seminar, Datasets in International Politics

From the first term paper to the advanced research paper, political scientists describe and analyze “what is going on” in the world. Sometimes they collect new data but often they rely on information already available. Yet, what is already out there, ready to be used? This course is a survey of many existing datasets in the area of international politics. We will ask ourselves what these datasets have been used for and what they could be used for in the future, including term papers and B.A. theses. We will also explore what kind of standards we can use to assess the quality of these datasets.

Seminar, Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten (Academic research and writing)


Spring 2017

Colloquium, Theses in International Politics, B.A.

Lecture, International Politics, M.A.

The security of individuals and states depends profoundly on international politics. Beyond the realm of security, structures and actors of “global governance” have been proliferating for many years. They influence crucial public policies in diverse ways. This lecture surveys academic debates on key security and governance topics including: the sources of war, peace, and terrorism; the emergence and operation of international organizations, transnational civil society, and regional integration; and the making of key international policy outcomes including respect for human rights and environmental protection.

Seminar, The Politics of Inequality, B.A.

What can and does political science contribute to the ubiquitous debate about economic inequality? Is there something morally wrong about inequality? How do we even know how much inequality there is? Is it true that inequality has dramatically increased over time? Are countries such as the United States as unequal as often claimed and are Scandinavian countries strongholds of equality? What explains variation in inequality over time or countries? Who decides on the policies and institutions that shape inequality? This seminar surveys the crucial academic debates surrounding these and related questions.

Seminar, Differentiated European Integration, B.A.

While we can easily make a list of the member states of the European Union (EU), formal membership tells us increasingly little about where the rules, rights, and obligations of the Union apply. The common currency and the Schengen free travel area do not include all member states. Countries such as Norway and Switzerland are not members of the Union but participate to varying degrees in its market and policies. The United Kingdom seeks to maintain selective participation in the EU’s market despite its intention to give up formal EU membership. This course surveys the academic debate about the origins of these patterns of “differentiated integration” and their consequences for the way EU institutions work and for the future of the EU more generally.

Methods tutorial, Causal processes, experiments, and datasets in international politics, B.A.

One of the most important goals of political scientists is to examine causal hypotheses empirically. They do this by investigating causal processes, conducting experiments, and by collecting and analyzing observational datasets. The aim of this course is to discuss and practice each of these research activities. Students will evaluate examples of scholarly work on causal processes, conduct mini-experiments, scrutinize widely-used datasets, and replicate and adjust observational data analyses.